May 13th, 2014
Last year the Carolina Chocolate Drops lost founding member Dom Flemons and cellist Leyla McCalla, both of whom wanted to take on solo ventures. Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins opted to carry on and recruited cellist Malcolm Parson and multi-instrumentalist Rowan Corbett to the group.
The new line-up began touring earlier this year so I thought it would be appropriate to check out what the band sounds like these days. While I’ve not listened to this show in its entirety, the setlist is notable for the absence of “Trouble in Your Mind” and “Cornbread and Butterbeans”, two early fan favorites, and the inclusion of some tunes that I’ve not seen before such as “Waterboy”. Veteran fans can take heart because “Briggs Corn Shucking Jig” is here replete with bones and the intro about the history of the banjo plus “Hit ‘Em Up Style” appears as well. Giddens’ voice remains as powerful as it ever was and I am glad they opted to keep cello as part of their sound. A little more bottom end really makes the rhythms more powerful.
The Chocolate Drops have no gigs here in Madison currently scheduled but will be in Chicago next month on the 13th at the Chicago Blues Fest and then again on the 16th & 17th at City Winery.
This is a really nice matrix recording which combines audience and soundboard sources. The show was on 16 April at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Virginia.
Pretty Little Girl With The Blue Dress On
Briggs Corn Shucking Jig / Camptown Hornpipe
Oh My Little Darling
Please Don’t Let Me Love You
Mama’s Angel Child
Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad
Can’t Nobody Hide From God
No Man’s Mama
Buck Creek Girls
Puirt a Beul
Hit ‘Em Up Style
Old Cat Died / Brown’s Dream
Read ‘Em John
I found this rather lengthy video of CCD’s gig at the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University from 3 March of this year. It’s appears to be the first 30 minutes of that night’s show.